with tail between legs
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with one's tail between one's legs
Fig. appearing frightened or cowardly. (Fig. on the image of a frightened or defeated dog going off threatened or humiliated.) John seems to lack courage. When people criticize him unjustly, he just goes away with his tail between his legs and doesn't tell them that they're wrong. The frightened dog ran away with its tail between its legs when the bigger dog growled.
with your tail between your legs
if you leave somewhere with your tail between your legs, you leave feeling ashamed and embarrassed because you have failed or made a mistakeSee be chasing tail, turn tail
Usage notes: Dogs often put their tail between their legs when someone has spoken angrily to them.The losing team walked off with their tails between their legs.
with (one's) tail between (one's) legs
In a state of humiliation or dejection.